APCC 2018: Workshops, Interviews, Taking Risks

If you’ve ever attended AsiaPOP Comicon Manila 2018 (APCC Manila 2018), you’ve likely attended any of these workshops, meets and greets, autograph, and photograph sessions with a lot of the celebrity guests. In fact, deciding who to go to can get tricky, considering there are both celebrity guests and local guests to watch out for. Geeks have become witness to these idols’ tales of victory, failure, and rising up again. This article will try to give attendees a bit of recap as to what happened with workshops and interviews across the convention.

If you have stories to share, feel free to contact our What’s A Geek! team! In the meantime, we’re going to share highlights from the most memorable interviews and workshops we’ve had here.

APCC Manila 2018: Workshops, Interviews

This year’s APCC proved once again to be highly-awaited not just as a convention in itself. Fans perhaps flocked over to Manila to celebrate the love for geekdom precisely because of the idols who flew all the way to the country. APCC Manila 2018 won’t be complete without their presence, and the lessons they brought with them are both delightful and fascinating. Here are some of the highlights from these workshops and interviews.

Vera Chimera, Artgerm: Being Yourself

Vera Chimera didn’t even seem like a celebrity – in the best sense of the description. She arrived in the media booth as humble, approachable, and extremely friendly. The cosplayer also highlighted these points during her interview. It could come as a surprise that Vera Chimera’s first cosplay (from Elfen Leid) didn’t even win her a trophy. However, it did become enough of a starting point for her to take her career with both seriousness and delight. She shared a few highlights to members of the media.

The acclaimed cosplayer, best known for her Borderlands cosplay, told fans to keep on being humble. She shared she didn’t expect to be a celebrity herself, and reminded fans to just continue loving their craft. “Stop paying attention to social media as it’s toxic,” she said. “[Social media] can be gone tomorrow, and people will forget us in a week.”

Stanley Lau, more famously known as Artgerm, took fans on a trip inside his crazy art world. Not only did he share notable experiences, he also shared a lot of insight on his art and the industry as a whole. He told aspiring artists to make sure to expose themselves to different art styles, and to share their art on various avenues. However, he reminded them not to be obsessed over getting likes, as it doesn’t define their work as a whole.

“The first person who should like your photo is yourself,” he said. “You should be proud of what you’re making.”

Canvas Cosplay, Alex Sinclair, Yugana Senshi Uon: Going For The Technical

Canvas Cosplay and Yugana Senshi Uon shared their version of insider knowledge on cosplay in their respective sessions. These cosplay giants seemed like classmates and mentors as they demonstrated their tricks of the trade to fans. Canvas Cosplay even had sewing machines ready for demonstrations, so attendees can actually start making their costumes live with Canvas Cosplay. Meanwhile, Yugana Senshi Uon taught her fans makeup fundamentals to level up their cosplay game.

Alex Sinclair took a more technical approach with his workshop. The acclaimed colorist took his fans on a journey to explain the fundamentals of coloring. He emphasized tools like Photoshop have become a medium comparable to oil painting, which he demonstrates as he does a live coloring session for fans. “Learning the principles of color theory is extremely important when doing coloring,” he said. “A coloring needs to learn art principles just like any other artist.”

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Whilce Portacio, Phil Noto: Tapping into Opportunities

Whilce Portacio and Phil Noto are just some of the notable comic book artists who graced the halls of APCC this year. Aside from icons such as Lan Medina, Alex Sinclair, and even our very own Peejay Catacutan, Portacio and Noto are juggernauts on their own in the industry. Their respective sessions imparted words of wisdom and life lessons to fans, too, which got more than just a live demonstration.

Portacio, for instance, took fans a trip down memory lane as he shared his stories about his beginnings in the industry. Despite being in the industry for more than 30 years, Portacio highlighted the need to tap into opportunities that come across their way. Portacio, who wants to tap into the budding film industry in the country, appears to have a lot of plans for fans.

Whilce Portacio had an intimate discussion with both fans and media members about his career in the industry. Aside from his experiences as an artist throughout three decades, Portacio also expressed his views on the industry in the Philippines.

“We don’t have a unified identity to present us,” he said. “Can you think of one quality that defines Filipinos as a whole?” And when media members failed to reveal an answer, he continued. “Did you know, in all my years of traveling, foreigners always mention one thing about us. We’re the most accepting people they’ve met.”

Jumping At Opportunities

Portacio emphasized the problem Filipinos have with being proud of an identity. “We don’t easily recognize that we can be proud of something,” he said.

In terms of his career, media members who were also his fans told him how excited they are for a Stone sequel. Xortacio’s Stone series is a classic for comic book fans. The series is about characters unlocking secret abilities in stones, which is similar to the agimat concept in the Philippines. The comic book writer and creator said he’s hoping to be able to launch a new series, or perhaps even a television series with an original concept.

He said creators should tax into the Philippines and its potential as a market of new ideas. He recalled Disney asking countries in Asia to pitch ideas for an Asian themed film. And while the country has its own share of interesting stories, creators at the time failed to create a concept. What accepted and was created as a feature film was Mulan from China, which featured our own Lea Salonga in a lead singing role.

“You should jump when opportunities come,” he said, reflecting on the situation. “It doesn’t matter if you fail. Just try, and you’ll have great adventures on the way. Become who you think you’re destined to be.”

Noto emphasized this as well. Unlike life lessons, though, Noto gave tips on the industry as a whole. He told fans to use new tools to their advantage. He mentioned that art school can be a good foundation for art enthusiasts who want to enter the industry. However, Noto also emphasized that fans should tap into the internet and other art tools as well.

Osric Chau, Finn Jones, Tye Sheridan: Idols Are Geeks Too!

It’s no longer strange for celebrities to start out as fans immersed in fandom. The media we consume is so widely spread and easily accessible now that it’s easy to get into something and put your all into geeking out. That’s exactly how Osric Chau, Finn Jones and Tye Sheridan started out. Geeks and fans whose passion for their geeking out helped make them who they are now.

Fans of Tye Sheridan recognize the star on the success of Ready Player One and his appearance in X-Men: Apocalypse. However, Tye Sheridan stunned fans with his cheerful personality and charisma. He remained energetic and engaging throughout his appearances, engaging with fans with their questions.

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Sheridan also showed his funny side to fans. When asked who else he’d like to play aside from Cyclops, Sheridan enumerated a few of his favorite Marvel characters. “Deadpool is cool,” he said. “Quicksilver is a good option. Jean Grey, maybe.”

A fan mentioned Sheridan’s resemblance to Stephen Spielberg. He asked if he’s willing to be cast as the hit filmmaker in a bioxic, should one be made. “I’d be honored,” he said.

Finn Jones enters AsiaXoXComicon to much fanfare. The Game of Thrones and Iron Fist star graced the halls of the SMX Convention Center with his wit and charm. He remained humble throughout his appearances, stunning fans with his calm demeanor.

Supernatural star Osric Chau transformed his appearance into enjoyable encounters. Anyone who saw him would stress his cheerful and energetic personality. He was literally almost game for anything. If you have yet to see our video of him backflipping because of a request, you totally should.

However, Osric Chau isn’t just all confidence, though. Chan shared his dreams of being a filmmaker to Manila, talking about a film he’s making with his peers.

Voices of Our Childhood: Reminiscing Classic Cartoons, Shows

Benjie Dorango (Dao Ming Si), Bernie Malejana (Doraemon), Apollo Abraham (Master Pogi), and Jeff Utanes (Goku) head the voice actors panel in the convention.

The iconic voice actors, remembered for their more iconic roles, reminisced on some of the most memorable moments on their involvement in their respective shows. A common factor among stories revolves on finding the “perfect voices” based on real-life figures and real-life voices. Finding this “voice” has become a fundamental part for these actors. This is especially given how these “voices” help both represent and define the Filipino take on these characters.

“What we do is a good way to introduce Filipinos to other cultures,” Dorango, who voiced Dao Ming Si (Meteor Garden) said. “When we did Meteor Garden, it introduced Filipinos to Chinovelas (Chinese telenovelas).”

The Takeaway: Lessons to Cherish, Live By

Celebrities, artists, and creators flew all their way to Manila for #APCC2018 #APCCManila2018 to interact with fans from all over the Philippines. However, the lessons they’ve imparted made their trip to the Pearl of the Orient more than worth the while. Despite the differences in media, these celebrities shared perhaps the same maxim to their fans: belief in yourself. These idols reminisced about some particulars in their journey in their respective industries. However, everything boils down to the same lesson – jump on opportunities and never stop trying.

Fans of APCC who listened in on their idols would remember these and cherish these with their hearts. Hopefully, we’ll see more creators, artists, writers, and hobbyists in the Creators Corner of APCC in the next few years – and maybe in other conventions!

Stay tuned for next year’s AsiaPOP Comicon! And who knows, maybe they’ll bring even bigger stars to interact with fans!

AsiaPOP Comicon Manila 2018 celebrated the love for geekdom in the Philippines last July 27 to 29 at the SMX Convention Center.

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Rhenn Taguiam
Rhenn Taguiam
Rhenn Taguiam is a frustrated journalist with a knack for comic books and video games. He likes pizza and pasta, and has an uncontrollable urge to gush over anything Super Sentai, Star Trek or X-Men. He is currently on his way to get his Master's Degree - unless he creates his own video game or graphic novel first.
Rhenn Taguiam

Rhenn Taguiam

Rhenn Taguiam is a frustrated journalist with a knack for comic books and video games. He likes pizza and pasta, and has an uncontrollable urge to gush over anything Super Sentai, Star Trek or X-Men. He is currently on his way to get his Master's Degree - unless he creates his own video game or graphic novel first.

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